Failure of the Frankfurt Assembly

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  • Created by: Anna
  • Created on: 12-05-13 16:31

10 points

  • attitude of Austria and Prussia
  • background
  • Divisions
  • Frederick William I
  • lack of military power
  • lack of popular support
  • members
  • other problems
  • rejection
  • the radical challenge
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Attitude of Austria and Prussia

  • constitutional government and national unity could only be achieved on their terms
  • Austria had no wish
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  • lacked real muscle
  • no financial power
  • no army
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  • lacked real muscle
  • no financial power
  • no army
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  • seriously divided
  • minority wanted no princes and a republic
  • majority of liberals wanted a moderate settlement to safeguard the rights of individual states and government with minimum social change
  • small conservative group wanted to preserve rights of individual states
  • large numbers of independent, politically uncommitted members
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Frederick William I

  • refused to accept crown if not offered by German princes
  • lost Prussia's support
  • movement for political reform had lost it's impetus and the German princes and Austrian emperor were able to regain control of politics in their territories
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Lack of military power

  • only army capable of acting as a National army was the Prussian on
  • Minister of war appointed (Prussian General)
  • tried to persuade rulers of Bavaria dn Austria to join with Prussia if they needed a German army but failed
  • without an army loyal to it, the authority of the Frankfurt Parliament remained theory rather than fact
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Lack of popular support

  • not in tune with the views of a large segment of the working class
  • German artisans established own assemblies
  • delegates were mainly liberal
  • industrial code (regulating hours of work and rates of pay) was rejected
  • lots of workers lost faith in the Frankfurt Parliament
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  • members were impractical idealists who wasted valuable time discussing the fundamental rights of the German people
  • never a real possibility of creating a unified German nation
  • argued over Grossdeutschland and Kleindeutschland
  • dependent of the willing cooperation of its individual states, parliament lacked power to enforce its decrees
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Other problems

  • handicapped by unwise choice of leader, Heinrich Gagern
  • liberal, sincere and well meaning but without the force of character needed to dominate the assembly
  • Schleswig-Holstein showed weakness
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  • Frederick William refused crown of Prussia
  • rulers of Bavaria, Saxony and Hanover rejected German constitution
  • Parliament driven out of Frankfurt by the city government and ended
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The radical challenge

  • demand for widespread political and social refor,
  • radicals within and outside parliament
  • formed a national democratic and republican movement
  • radical mob in 1848 at second democratic congress pronounced the Frankfurt parliament illegitimate and demanded new elections
  • counter revolution was, however, in full swing
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